Mike McDaniel speaks wonders on what he’s seen from Tua Tagovailoa this offseason

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa received high praise from his head coach Mike McDaniel by living up to his words so far this offseason.

Tagovailoa is not really a boastful individual who offers outlandish predictions to the media and fans. Instead, he focuses on what he believes he can accomplish.

That focus on living up to his word began even before he was selected by the Dolphins with the fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. At the time, he was in the midst of recovering from a career-threatening hip injury.

Instead of paying attention to naysayers who had doubts about his ability to come back, Tagovailoa put in the necessary rehabilitation before and after being drafted.

That level of determination continued during his rookie season with the Dolphins, when all of that arduous work paid off when he was inserted into the starting lineup.

After Tagovailoa’s first regular season, he became the subject of trade talk in connection to the Dolphins’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson. In response, he simply spoke about preparing for his second year in the league.

During the 2021 campaign, Tagovailoa threw for 2,653 yards and 16 touchdowns, winning seven of his 12 starts for the team.

Last season, Tagovailoa managed to ignore criticism that the Dolphins should have drafted Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert instead of him. After leading the Dolphins to a dramatic comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2, he spoke about simply focusing on his abilities and ignoring critics.

Tagovailoa also was forced to deal with controversy last season due to his own health concerns. He suffered multiple concussions and was actually carted off the field during the Dolphins’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29.

Just four days earlier, he stumbled after getting up from a hit. After leaving that game against the Buffalo Bills, he returned to the field, a move that sparked plenty of criticism.

Tagovailoa attempted to defuse the situation by saying that he had cleared concussion protocols, with his back being more of a concern.

A later concussion on Christmas Day ended Tagovailoa’s season, with critics now doubting his ability to stay healthy in the future.

For Tagovailoa, he seems to remain confident about his future. The University of Alabama product will look to lead the Dolphins back to the playoffs this season.

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Brad is a freelance writer for Dolphinnation.com and has been around long enough to remember the 1972 perfect season, and even when Don Shula was coaching the Colts. He still follows the Dolphins and other happenings in the NFL, so he can offer a little perspective when it comes to the ups and downs of each season. Some of his opinions may end up differing from the people who read them, but that's par for the course when it comes to life in South Florida.